Around a year and a half ago I decided that my secure, well paying job and city centre apartment was just not enough. I know, first world problems, but having everything you think you need, doesn’t always make you happy.
From a very young age, my parents have encouraged me to be independent, make my own way in the world, my own money and create stability, but I’ve never been comfortable with stability.
My mum wanted me to be a vet or a barrister, something that made me lots of money. She’s given up on that dream now but she still wants me to settle down, get married and have kids just like my friends, but it’s not something I’ve ever felt the urge to do. Do I want children in the future? Yeh sure, do I want to get married? Not really bothered to be quite honest! Those things, for me, do not equal a secure and fulfilling life and here is why.
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What security means to one person, may mean something different to someone else
Like many things in life, I’ve always felt that having ‘security‘ was all relative. Although my parents and of course other people in the world may see buying a house, having a partner or being financially stable as ‘security‘, to me, security means something else:
Knowing that you are capable of dealing with whatever life throws at you and knowing you can stand on your own two feet no matter what happens.
This definition is something I have worked VERY hard to create for myself. After years of battling depression and severe anxiety, it was only when I started to trust my own abilities and feel secure in my will to thrive and survive, that I felt truly secure. In fact, I would go as far as saying that I feel less secure when I have made roots somewhere than I do moving around!
Giving up everything and getting on the right path
I know this nomadic way of living may not be for everyone and it’s not to say I don’t love being at home and being able to buy furniture, throw pillows and unnecessary kitchen appliances.
I’ve worked my way up the career ladder over the last 4 years and ended up in a job I loved, with people I loved to work with and a decent pay packet, but I just felt it was time for me to take a leap forward.
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A lot of people see quitting your well paying job to travel as a step back, many people have commented on my decision saying just that and implying that I am
running away from being an adult
I couldn’t disagree more. In fact, the way I see it is that I am taking such a huge leap, because that is what I need to progress to the next step. Getting a promotion and moving into a bigger flat just didn’t feel like my next move forward, it felt stagnant and uninspiring. So, that’s why I chose to give up all the financial stability I have built over the last few years and explore parts of the world I have ALWAYS wanted to see.
Travel is exploration of not just the earth but of the soul
I know, it sounds so wanky and a bit ‘Gap Yaahh’ but heading off to ‘find yourself’ isn’t always a bad idea. It’s not that you are sat in a dark room thinking ‘who am I? what is the meaning of life?!‘ but more, ‘how can I become a better version of who I already am?‘.
I’m not running away from my problems, frankly I don’t think I have any problems to run away from and even if I did, they would probably jump on that plane with me! What I want to get from this experience is a new found freedom, both in my career and in life.
The work life balance I currently have doesn’t work for me, I know that for the sake of my health and sanity, I need to find a different way of living and I don’t feel like I can do that in my current situation.
Time you enjoy wasting, is not wasted time – John Lennon
Where do I go from here?
I’ve tried not to plan too much around this big change as I have a tendency to freak out, I also wanted to go with the flow and just do what my intuition tells me (for a change). What I do know is that I want to find a way to have flexibility over:
- Where and when I work – This will help my mental health massively, as I have very high and low days that is difficult to explain to an employer.
- Access to the outdoors – I love being outside, especially surrounded by amazing landscapes and I find it helps with my anxiety. I can kind of get this now, but not as much as I would like.
That’s it, that is my criteria for creating the perfect life. My health comes first before anything else, as without good mental health, I’m useless to everyone including myself. I’ve spent so many years fighting to keep myself a float in a life I feel I’ve fallen into and I am tired, instead I want to build a life that keeps me buoyant whilst I focus on actually living!
Am I scared about such a big change? Absolutely!
Am I excited about the prospect of a creating a better life for myself? No doubt about it.
Would you ever make such a big change in order to be happy? Do you think it is crazy to give up financial stability for a more ‘unstable’ way of living?